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Do you recurrently feel discontent despite all you have already acquired and achieved?

Do you want to improve how you think and feel about yourself and others?

Do you desire greater and longer lasting contentment?

The Practice of Contentment offers a straightforward and highly effective way of dispelling discontentment while simultaneously evoking the deep sense of satisfaction and serenity characteristic of contentment.

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Oliver Ross, JD, PhD

PRACTICE POINTERS

BLOG WITH THE AUTHOR AND OTHER PRACTITIONERS

AWARENESS


“Basically, the Buddhist attitude is that you should not accept certain things through sheer faith. And for that you need a skeptical attitude. Buddha himself made this clear to his followers. He said you should not accept those things I taught out of respect for me, but rather through investigation by yourself.”

The Dalai Lama

Investigation is fundamental to the practice of contentment. It is the very first step novice practitioners must take to truly realize for themselves that any degree of discontent they feel had its origins in some shape or form of unappreciative more, better, different thinking. Practitioners of contentment do not on blind faith take anyone else’s … Continue reading Investigation

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AWARENESS


“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Albert Einstein

I am at an airport waiting to board and noticing that everyone I see is metaphorically a wave in the ocean of humanity. Different shapes and sizes of waves but a wave just like I am, all of us simultaneously a part and the whole of an ocean-like world. Conceptually, I know there is no … Continue reading The Delusion of Separation

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AWARENESS


“If you strike upon a thought that baffles you, break off from that entanglement and try another, so shall your wits be fresh to start again.”

Aristophanes

When we identify with our unappreciative more, better, different thoughts they can entangle us (Chapter 8). Instead of passing through us like small white clouds...

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ACCEPTANCE


“The disowned part of self is an energy - an emotion or desire or need, that has been shamed every time it emerged. These energy patterns are repressed but not destroyed. They are alive in our unconscious.”

John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame that Binds You

Surrender denotes non-resistance (page 98). It also denotes non-repression. The practice of contentment doesn’t involve the repression of our more, better, different thoughts. Quite the opposite. It gives us a direct experience of this kind of thinking such that we can increase our insight into its true nature. It occurrence also gives us an opportunity … Continue reading Repression

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ACCEPTANCE


"A feeling of aversion toward something is your clue that there's work to be done."

Ram Dass

Part of the “work to be done” in the practice of contentment is to deal with the aversive side of unappreciative more, better, different thinking. Instead of the side of this thinking that propels us to persistently pursue a plethora of more, better and different things, the aversive side deludes us into believing that avoidance … Continue reading Aversion

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ACCEPTANCE


“Forgiveness is for yourself because it frees you. It lets you out of that prison you put yourself in.”

Louise L. Hay

Practitioners of contentment must learn how to forgive themselves for the occurrence of unappreciative more, better, different thinking (Chapter 13). After they acknowledge and surrender...

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ACTION


“When we label thoughts precisely and carefully, what happens to them? They begin to quiet down.”

Charlotte Joko Beck

Labeling an unappreciative more, better, different thought immediately upon becoming aware of is fundamental to the practice of contentment. It is a first inner action that a practitioner can take to open the way for the acceptance of this type of thinking. When we label our unappreciative not-enough thoughts we create the nanosecond of time … Continue reading Labeling: A Simple yet Eloquent Way to Cultivate Contentment

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ACTION


“A wise being completely and totally embraces the reality, the inevitability, and the unpredictability of death.”

Michael A. Singer

Any and all degrees of the discontentment consequential to unappreciative more, better, different thinking are rooted in fear (Chapter 8). Fear of not getting more of this or that, not being better at such and such, not accomplishing one or another different goal, and so on. And perhaps most powerfully, the fear of death. Our … Continue reading Purposefully Ponder and Appreciate Death

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ACTION


“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Carrie Fisher

The practice of contentment is the persistent yet patient pursuit of becoming increasingly aware of the inner workings of our mind, how these workings affect our emotions and behaviors...

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